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My Ex Has Moved On And I Am Sad

So, it has been a long time already, I guess. I am supposed to be happy in my fantastic life. I have a sweet son who has a beautiful smile and a husband who is helping me to slowly, slowly work on making our marriage better. I had an affair with a man I considered my soulmate, but decided (bravely, I thought at the time) to work on my marriage instead of throwing it away for true love. My husband - a man I had dated for seven years, who had finally agreed to marry me - wanted to stay with me in spite of the affair. That he forgave me that deep offense warmed my heart toward him and I felt I just couldn't leave him for another man, even one that I wanted with all my heart. It was just too cruel. I thought, if I tried everything to make the marriage good and we still weren't compatible, then I could leave with a clean conscience. If we somehow fell in love along the way, well, so be it! But I wanted that clear-cut answer, and I wanted us to finally be honest. So I left my lover. But he still needed me, loved me, and I talked with him. I couldn't really let him go, even though we were now a long distance from each other, since I had moved right away with my husband way up north. I heard the pain in his voice every day. I ached for how I hurt him. I loved him with everything I had and I still do. Of course, this made working on my marriage difficult, since my heart could not be in two places at once. I repeatedly told my ex-lover that we had to stop talking. But I couldn't cut him off. One day I told him that our contact would only hurt him worse one day, because at some point I would have a child and it would not be with him. It felt like I was stabbing myself in the heart when I said this, and I think he felt the same way. He was hurt, we didn't talk for awhile, but he just needed to hear my voice and I needed him as much as ever. So I went ahead with my husband, as I had promised I would. We got a house. We got pregnant. When he found out about the baby coming soon, my Ex was heartbroken again. I was heartbroken continuously all this time. I was so sad for my innocent baby, whom I just wanted to be happy about, who never did anything wrong to anybody. I ruined everyone's life, I felt. My poor, sweet husband, who tried in his way, but could never make me feel loved, my lover, who meant everything to me, but went to sleep lonely every night, kissing my empty pillow by his head, my baby, who needed love and happiness, not despair, and myself - lonely, trapped, desperate for love and understanding, exhausted, not having a friend to confide in. The baby came. My Ex-lover said he still loved me, no matter what. He wrote me a Valentine's Day card. He said he really, truly believed that he was made to be with me. Then two weeks after Valentine's Day (2012), he said we couldn't talk or text anymore because he was seeing someone. They had been chatting on the phone for a couple of weeks, then she spent the weekend over at his place. So he wanted me to respect his new relationship and not contact him. They were suddenly a happy, loving couple on facebook, sending heart pictures to each other on public profile (I am not friends with either person on facebook - I only see public stuff). Four months into the relationship, she apparently got pregnant, because their daughter is due in two months now. So it has been ten months or so since we talked last. And he is about to be a dad. And he fell in love with her right after saying those amazing things to me. And they are naming the baby after his mother. And they are getting married, I hear, or else they have just gotten married, I don't even know. I am glad that he is happy. I am so happy that I am not making him sad anymore. I am happy that we are not in contact so that I can be honest with my husband and give more attention to my sweet child. But the hole in my heart isn't going away. I wanted that baby with my lover. I wanted to be married to him. I wanted to name a child after his mother. How can he be "made to be with me" and suddenly made to be with her and be done with me? It hurts so much. Yes, I know it's my fault. I know I let him go and he had to move on with his life. I know he made a great life choice and he will be a terrific father and husband and that he has found an excellent partner for himself. I can tell they are the real deal and they will be good for each other. I made him go away, but I guess I didn't think he would be this happy, this soon. It seemed pretty quick to me. Talk about moving on! I haven't moved on. He is still the love of my whole life. I am working hard on making my marriage work, and it is going slowly. The decision I made - maybe it was foolish to try to work on a relationship I didn't really want, just for the sake of fairness to my long-term man and for the sake of clarity. Maybe I should have just stopped the wedding and run away with my Love. I just want to be happy for them and be fulfilled in my life. I try so hard to be happy for them, and sometimes I am, but it hurts so, so much. I am still trying in my marriage. My husband is trying, too, now that I have an official diagnosis of depression with feelings of suicide. Now he understands I've been unhappy with the way things are. I'm still not sure he gets it, though. When I'm happy again, he says, he won't have to do nice things for me, or spend as much time with me. I'm just afraid it's too late. My one chance at love is gone forever. Will I ever feel confident and happy again?
ironmarshmellow ironmarshmellow 41-45, F 10 Responses Jan 24, 2013

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I would hate to be your husband, you are still fawning over a guy who is not even thinking twice about. I am sorry but He has moved on, at this point if your where to contact him you will only cause trouble. Which I kind of think you are trying to do in making any attempt to contact him. You are putting all this energy into a guy that does not feel the same way about you anymore and who knows if he ever felt as strongly about you as you do about him. I hate to break iot to you most guys will say or do anything just to get some tail. You seriuosly should just leave your husband. You do not love him and it is unfair to him to have to be with someone who does not care about him. You had your chance you made the wrong choice or maybe you made the right choice since you have a child with the person you chose. focus on them your family, forget about thr other guy, he has moved on. What are you going to do hang out and hope they get divorved? may be the other women? if you cant focus on what you got right know or chose not to, then change your situation to what will make you happy, otherwise you are not doing anyone any favors hanging around and being depressed about your current situation. love the one you are with or leave and find someone new if that is not possible. I know myself personally I would not want to be around someone who does not want to be with me nor would I want to be someones second choice. If my wife felt that strongly about anotherperson I would say go and get out since i would not want to be with someone who did not love me. Stop being selfish and figure out what you need to do for the sake of your family.

You have helped a lot thank you. I am generally ok I just hate Facebook !!! Think I would be a lot further on if it wasn't for Facebook but like you say pictures aren't always a true reflection. How are things with your husband now if you don't mind me asking ?

Facebook really has made things difficult, it's true!! Are you friends with your ex on fb? Sometimes I find it helpful for me to look at pictures of people I know pretty well, who don't have perfect relationships and see if I can see evidence of their fights and drama in what they post. Usually, I cannot. To an outsider, they would seem perfectly happy, though I know them better than that. So that affirms that you cannot see the whole story from the stuff they select to publish. Anyway, you asked about my husband....we have our ups and downs, but overall doing better. Sometimes I am really fed up with him and wish we were separated, but we have chosen to give our relationship this whole year to see how we feel at the end of it. He has made more of an effort than I ever thought possible. I am making a big effort, too. We talk every day while he's at work, once or twice. We remember to say "I love you," even if sometimes it feels like we're just saying it. There are many things I am trying to do to show affection and feel bonded together, both for him and myself, and I think overall, it is working. If one of us wasn't stepping up, it wouldn't work, but so far, we both are. There are things people do when courting to make the other person feel loved and I want to add those to our lives. I have never felt truly loved in this relationship, which is a major issue, and I'd like to change that. I've also started getting us to be in pictures together and to put those pictures up around the house, so we can see them every day. Just a little idea I picked up from all those blasted fb photos, haha! Some people have many such memories around their houses, but we never did. Putting up the visual reminders makes us both feel closer and closeness is a huge part of what was lacking. Still working on it, but if I can feel in love with my husband by the end of this year, all will be worth it. Lately, I have started to be able to genuinely appreciate him. It is not the amazing high that fresh love feels like, but it is a happy, warm feeling, and it is real. I like real. How are things going with your husband? If you'd rather pm, that is ok.

Hey sorry to hear your feeling like this. My ex baby is due in sept I know I will feel the same as you. Can I Ask do your have zero contact with your ex ? Ever see him around etc ?? Are you fb friends just wondering If this zero contact stuff works that everyone talks about xx

So sorry that you are in this situation, too. They say time heals, but it sure seems to take its time doing so! I hope you will soon find some peace and feel better. Yes, we are in zero contact. We have not made contact since he told me he was seeing someone new, though I admit I did send him one text and a few weeks later left him one voicemail, to explain that I had called just to hear his voice on the outgoing message. Of course, his voice wasn't even on it - it was a machine voice, so I think he might have changed his number. Go me. Like a fool, I tried to send him a gift for his birthday about a month later. It came back in the mail. So I have not been good about the no contact thing, but he has been firm, so we have not communicated. I did not try to contact him again until I found out about the baby and marriage, which was back in December. Then, I just sent him a short message on facebook, telling him I knew, and that I wished him and his new family the best. My therapist had said it would be ok to send something like this, especially since our relationship was so over and he had moved on in such a final way. He did not respond. We live in different states now, so no chance to run into each other. Thank goodness. We are not fb friends. BUT - I could not help but fb stalk him and his new love. I can only see the public stuff they post, but it still keeps drawing me in. I try not to look them up, but it is very difficult not to. It feels like a stab in the heart each time I see their happy faces and their arms around each other, but I keep coming back for more. The zero contact stuff should work - everyone seems to say it is the best thing - but it should include not looking at photos on fb, for sure! When I haven't looked for awhile, I do feel better, more on an even keel. After I see more evidence of how happy they are, I feel even more rotten, and it lasts for more than a whole day, until I can get on an even keel again. Oh - those articles I linked to in the previous post let me understand how he snookered me in, though, and that works even better than time and zero contact (at least so far)! I just couldn't understand how he could love anyone more than me, and thought I had really messed up the best thing that ever happened to me and that the new lady must be a goddess or something, but now I really think he just jumps at anyone nice and tells them wonderful things, with great intensity, hoping for the romance of a lifetime, without actually knowing them very well. Looks like he did that to me, making me believe, then he and she did that to each other. These whirlwind romances feel amazing, but no-one can keep up that kind of intensity. Suddenly, I am remembering little things that made me go "hmm" back in our otherwise perfect, beautiful relationship. One day soon (after baby, no doubt), they will not have patience or time to tell each other how they are more wonderful than sliced bread and they will wonder where the spark went. Because they built it all on nothing. Like he built it up for me. Today, I do not feel that I lost the love of my life. I feel like I didn't pursue a relationship with an unknown quantity, and that was probably a good call, since he was trying so hard to win me, when he knew what it would cost me, when, if I am honest, we hardly knew each other. He made it seem like we'd known each other forever. I write too much. Sorry about that. But yes, zero contact makes the feelings duller, in time, which is a good thing. It is very hard to do, especially at first, because we are mammals and engage in seeking behavior when we lose someone, whether that someone has passed away or has gone away some other way. Problem is, when they are alive, we can find them - or pictures of them - then we cannot move on. Please know that he is not happier with her than he was with you. Having a baby is exciting and scary and gives people a temporary high, but the reality of actually caring for a baby is not nearly so romantic, no matter what the pictures they post look like. My heart goes out to you, and you are in my thoughts. I hope I have helped a little. xoxo

With my ex's baby due momentarily, I have been beside myself, but I found this article: http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/fast-forwarding-when-someone-speeds-you-through-dating/ and I'm feeling better today than I have in a long time! For anyone out there mourning a lost soulmate, try to read this and see if it sounds familiar. Seems like, instead of the cosmos ordaining that we should be together, then me going down the wrong path, never to know real love again, while he finds a truer soulmate and forgets me, I think he used many of the "trust points" she writes about (http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/understanding-what-your-trust-points-were-in-your-shady-relationship/) to make me feel a certain way, so that we could have this instant connection. It feels so wonderful. But it is something many people have been through and come out the other side of, wondering what hit them. I don't doubt he had strong feelings, but I think he wanted a relationship so badly that he never got to really know me, nor I him, though it felt so beautiful. That also explains how he has the intense feelings I thought only I could give him for someone else, and so quickly. She and he did this to each other, I believe. I know the things he must've been telling her - the same things he said to me. And for her part, she spent the weekend at his house on the first date, had pics of them as a couple up on facebook immediately, introduced her daughter on the second date and they got pregnant in 4 months, all throughout, only seeing each other on weekends, due to distance. If that isn't "fast-forwarding," I don't know what is! Anyway, if it works out for them, it will be due to their similar backgrounds and them being good people for each other, but it will be incidental and not because they are so passionate for each other. From gobs of emotional support and passionate love and amazing feelings of togetherness to a family with a ten-year old, a new baby, four cats and a dog...well, I'm sure they'll make it and be happy, but I'm also sure that the shininess is about to wear off, and this gives me a great deal of relief. Not trying to sound mean, but losing him was killing me and the thought that they were meant for each other and I wasn't good enough was killing me. I think no one can be good enough if your expectations are blown out of proportion. I can see now how he could move on so quickly - she poured him a glass of his own delicious medicine and he swallowed it. They have had a wonderful year, I know. It is a fantastic feeling. But it isn't real love, it is a lovely fantasy. I would like to feel that way again, but I like my feelings to reflect real information, too. Maybe they will settle into a real love, in time. I feel more lucky to have what I do have than I have felt in a long time. Just thought I would write this and update this post. This is a new feeling, and sooooooo much better than they way I felt just yesterday. So happy for a new perspective.

Like slick said you should have chosen your soulmate over your husband LONG before a child was involved. You picked your husband because you felt bad and i know how you feel i too have made decisions like this but you and your husband should have realized when you had the affair that there is no love there. Maybe there was at one point but if there was love there wasnt enough to prevent the affair from ever happening. Your in too deep now as you have a child with the man you do not love. You couldnt expect him to stay forever especially since he saw no end in sight to your marriage. There was no hope for him. He had to go. For his own sake. I apologize if i came off a little judgemental but i was just saying what i have learned as i have gone thru a similar situation.

Thank you for your reply. If only I had met my soulmate long before, maybe I would have made a different decision. I met him two months before the wedding. I thought we were becoming close friends. Though he had hinted a bit that he liked me a couple of weeks before the wedding, he actually told me how he felt in a message the night before I got married. I got married in my hometown, so we were in different states at the time, and I stayed up until 3am in my hotel room, with my bridesmaid asleep in the next bed, the night before my morning wedding, crying my eyes out, knowing I was about to be committed to the wrong man. My in-laws had flown in from overseas for this and they had driven the 4-5 hours with me the day before to my hometown, so we could get everything set up. Everything was in place, everyone was excited. I couldn't tell anyone what was going on. The train kept rolling, and although it was technically withing my power to stand up in front of them all and say "NO!" I didn't have the heart to do that. I just couldn't. It was my first wedding, my only one, and it ended up beautiful. Just felt like I wasn't there. Can't believe it really happened. If only I had gotten to know him earlier. We got married to have a child, so that happened immediately. I thought that the heart-breaking decision was over, was set in stone, so I went with our original plan. I had no idea our phone relationship would last as long as it did. Yes, we should have ended things with the affair. Oddly, if my husband was the kind of guy who discussed things with me and listened to my point of view, we would have broken up long ago. But he dismisses what I say and he waves me away and says "everything is fine." So I shut up. Of course, if he was the kind of guy who listened to what I have to say, I would have been happy to stay with him. Sorry for the long reply. Yes, my soulmate had to leave. I wanted him to be happy and not to wait for me. It was killing me, too. But he didn't have to be so darned happy about leaving! Argh. You said you have gone through a similar situation. I would be interested to hear/read about it.

"When I'm happy again, he says, he won't have to do nice things for me, or spend as much time with me."

This line right here resonates with me. Until he understands, truly understands, how you've been feeling for so many years, the odds of having a happy and successful marriage are pretty nil. One of the first things both of you need to understand is that life and your marriage will never get back to the way it was. It can't. What both of you need to understand is that once you're both "happy", whatever state of mind that may be, you just can't quit doing nice things for one another. It was that mindset that likely lead you astray to begin with.

Ironmarshmellow, I can sense your pain all the way over here, and I don't even know you. If you want your marriage to work for the sake of your child, look into finding some common ground with your husband. Learn to be one another's best friends. In the meantime, you need to seek some help and guidance for yourself. Take care of yourself because there's only one YOU.

Thank you so much for your understanding and compassionate reply. I am glad to say that I am seeking professional guidance in this, and my counselor agrees with what you say about changing the way we interact permanently. Lately, I have been much more vocal and insistent about what I need from a relationship with my husband and - wonder of wonders! - some of that seems to be sinking in with him. It is sort of like banging incessantly on a brick wall, but he is capable of change. He will never be exactly what I wish, but I will be happy with a certain level of compromise, so I think we will at least make some progress. I think that I will know more about how I feel at the end of this year, then, if there are any tough decisions to make, I will know I gave our relationship the best try I could. I am interested in your story, so I will read what you have written. Thank you for being my friend on experienceproject!

you should of left your husband before a kid was involved. all you did was trap him into being with someone who does not want to be with him. the poor guys only crime was being decent enough to forgive you. you cnat have your cake and eat it too. If you were unhappy you should have done somthing when you had the chance. the mere fact that you were still in contact with the guy after the fact speaks volumes about how hard you were trying to fix things with your husband. get on some medication and be honest with him about how youi feel in reagards to the other gentleman. take a break from each other unitil you figure your **** out for the sake of the child. maybe you should just be alone either way your husband should know how you truly feel and decide if he really wants to stay with you. from that point then will you ever truly feel get past your depression. at least at that point the truth is out otherwise this will keep growing to a point when that child gets older his life will be hell because you are so resentful and screwed up about bing in a place you dont want to be in. good luck

Yes, Slick1111, I should have done things differently. But I didn't, and now I have to deal with the situation as it stands. Taking a break from each other would make it difficult to raise our little one, so for now, it is better for him, we think, to work on the relationship together. You are correct that I wasn't really working on my marriage when I was still talking to the other man. I was in an emotional holding pattern. I begged him to find someone new. I wished for someone to come along and make him happy. I was so relieved when he found someone, even though what I really wanted was to be with him only. But I had made a decision. Somehow, it felt like I was holding his hand until he found another love, which is exactly what ended up happening. It was painful knowing this would happen and it is excruciating now that it has happened. It still makes my heart very heavy and empty to think about what I have lost. But as soon as we stopped talking, I put everything I could into my current relationship. Yes, it took until then to truly begin, but I have been working on my marriage with all I've got. My husband knows how I feel about him and about this other man. He knows we are no longer in contact and that I am trying hard to make the marriage work. He has started trying as well. As long as we continue being honest about how we are doing, I hope neither of us will be resentful, for our sake and the sake of our child. Thank you and take care.

Come on. The woman is in pain. She's posting this on a public forum looking for help and not judgement.

I have a suggestion: refer to the past as gone for good. consider yourself having been given another chance in life to love. Love the people around you like you'll never have another chance to love again. What you focus on most will consume you most. If you focus on regret, it'll eat you up. If you focus on love, it will brighten your life and the life of the people around you. Start by taking a paper and writing a love letter to your husband. Focus on his positives. Read it to him the next time you lay eyes on him. Then take another paper and write a love letter to your child. Then read it to him/her. Then pin it over his/her bed. Consume yourself with your love for the people who have privelaged you the opportunity to love. Be happy.

Cleanclean, thank you. What you have written is insightful and beautiful. Though it is hard for me to think of the past as gone for good, it makes so much sense to focus on love in the here and now, in the immediate vicinity. There is quite a bit of good in my life, after all.The regret does eat me up, and it is tough to let go of that regret, since it seems so warranted. I will write the letters you propose. Thank you for your thoughtful response. Hugs to you, and happiness.

The love letter idea is a great idea. I'm glad I read this. It's something I think I can apply to my own marriage.

To follow up - I wrote that letter in an email. It was actually exciting to think of what to say and to think of how he would react when he got it! And it got my ex out of my head for awhile, as I replaced him with thoughts of my husband. I will do that again, I believe. Thank you for the good idea!

Ironmarshmellow, I'm so excited for you and your relationships' future. I'm proud of your bold steps to get into your relational-life's cockpit and steer yourself towards your relationships powered by selflessness and love. Whenever you get a chance, please update us with the outcome of your efforts. These will be guide-notes and ultimately a roadmap that will serve so many of us who have read and relate to your story. I can feel your happiness. I wish you more and more.

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Either get in therapy to address these issues so you can be honest with yourself or do as Sammy7000 suggests. So tired of hearing the I want to make it right with my spouse, but oh, poor me the love of my life is gone, you know, the one that was sneaking with me behind another persons back and is now happy with someone else. Vomit. Please get some help if not for your sake for your kids sake so your kid does not have to learn and grow up from your BS.

Ah, yes, I am already in therapy, lackwittyname. I will do whatever it takes. Interesting that you seem to have heard all the particulars of my story before so many times it makes you ill: I have been looking for stories similar to my own so that I wouldn't feel so alone, but I haven't really found any. There I was, thinking I was unique. Oh, well. I will continue to try to make a happy life for myself and my family, and I will put as much love into it as possible, so that my kid, as you say, will grow up and learn from my strength.

It will hurt you to death to anchor your passion onto something that has already gone. It's like feeling bad for not telling a dead loved-one that you loved them when they were alive.
Prove to yourself that you've learnt the lesson by telling a living loved-one that you love them. Now, anchor your passion into your current marriage.
Remember, if you don't learn, you will end up making the same mistake again.
I wish you happiness.

Yes, I am doing many things to focus love on my marriage. The changes are visible and I think we are acting more like a couple and less like roommates. I hope one day, passion will grow from the attention we are paying to our relationship. I hope that I can learn something from this, because the pain is very strong, and I would hate for it all to be for nothing. As for having another affair - no, that will never happen again. I made that promise to my husband and to myself and to the universe at large. At least, that particular lesson has been learned, because no-one wins in that situation and everyone gets hurt. Never again. Thank you for the good wishes. I wish you happiness as well, in all things.

No, I did not. We both knew there were issues.